Dr. Sharon Babcock discusses the details of JMU Pre-Professional Health Programs.

Pre-Professional Health Frequently Asked Questions

Which major should I choose as a pre-professional health student at JMU?

Your choice! The advantage of declaring a PPH minor is the flexibility this allows in selecting your major. We encourage students to choose a major you are most inspired/excited to study. We know that if you enjoy your studies, you will succeed in the classroom. The minor will ensure you are completing prerequisites for your intended health profession program. 

The most common declared majors amongst PPH students are: Biology, Health Sciences, Kinesiology, Psychology, and Chemistry.  PPH students who started at JMU last Fall declared 26 different majors!

How do I declare a pre-professional health minor?

As a new first-year or transfer student, your first opportunity to officially declare your intended Pre-Professional Health Minor is through the One Book or the Transfer One Book. 

You may declare a PPH minor at any point during your academic career, however we recommend you make this decision early so that you have access to appropriate resources.

What advising support will I have as a Pre-Professional Health student?

You will have an assigned PPH advisor who works in collaboration with your major advisor. PPH students who are athletes or in the Honors College will have dedicated advisors for those programs as well.

PPH advisors are here for you all four years and even up to four years after graduation as you pursue admission to health profession programs.

How do I get started planning my first semester schedule?

1st Semester Modules are available for incoming JMU students. These five modules can provide you with the academic information necessary to draft your fall schedule. Module 4 highlights information that PPH students will want to consider!

You will be assigned a First Year Advisor or Transfer Advisor who will help you with your class schedule during Summer Springboard.

Early in your first semester, you should also arrange to meet with your PPH advisor to learn more about your minor and your chosen health profession.

Does PPH help students in securing clinical experiences/internships?

While PPH has many suggestions and guidelines about how and where to seek clinical experiences, we do not secure them for you.  Graduate-level professional health programs want to see you take the initiative to engage in experiences that are appropriate and meaningful to you.

How can I connect with other PPH students at JMU?

All of the pre-health minors have at least one student organization whose members are preparing for a health professions career.  Joining and attending meetings and other activities arranged by these student organizations is an excellent way to meet other PPH students ranging from first-year students to seniors.

Nursing and PPH – can I do both?

In general, no. The nursing program is very demanding and leaves few opportunities for students to take the prerequisite courses required by graduate health professions programs.

How do PPH students gain direct patient contact and/or clinical experience?

Many students complete training and certification to work as a Certified Nursing Aid, Patient Care Technician, Certified Pharmacy Technician or to volunteer as an Emergency Medical Technician at a local rescue squad.  Roles that do not always require certification include dental assistant, optometric technician, medical scribe, and medical assistant.

JMU students have the opportunity to apply for a campus volunteer-ship with the University Health Center.

Are there internships available for Pre-Vet students?

Yes, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offers an internship opportunity for junior/senior Pre-Vet students each semester.

What if I am coming to JMU with credits either from Dual Enrollment or with an Associate’s degree?

Students entering JMU with community college credits should meet with their PPH Advisor early in their academic career.  Transcripts for your community college courses will be included in your application to professional health programs. In some cases we may recommend that you take the equivalent course at JMU or take a higher level, more advanced course in that subject area(s). 

In general, once you are a full-time student at a four-year institution, it is not recommended to take additional science prerequisite courses at a community college.

For more information visit Pre-Professional Health Advising, and learn about:
Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Optometry, Pre-O.T., Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-P.T., Pre-P.A., Pre-Vet Med.

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